Biophilia: Bring the outdoors to you

Outside the signs of spring are everywhere. Blossoms are gently filling their wiry branches, daffodils are popping up in parks across the country and we’ve had a splendid run of sunny days with plenty of clear skies. Ironically, as the season to awaken has arrived, we’re required to hunker down and embrace the life of homebodies that is best suited to the long winter nights we’re leaving behind.

While it might feel like you’re missing out on nature’s splendour as she reanimates, with warmer weather and days that stretch lingering just over the horizon, you can bring a bit of the outdoors into your home with some biophilic design.

A concept that has recently seen an increase in popularity among corporate offices and indoor leisure spaces, the rise of the millennial plant enthusiast knows all too well the benefits of welcoming some greenery into your home. Attributing benefits such as reduced stress, improved air quality in your home and improved health, along with increased well being and productivity, it’s hard to argue why you wouldn’t want to be surrounded by lush foliage.

Photo by Huy Phan on Unsplash

How to choose your plants

Whether you’re looking to add a few green friends to your home or create your very own indoor jungle, the opportunities for creativity are endless. If you’re new to plant parenting, creating a biophilic space might seem overwhelming. Which plants should you get? How many? What size? When do I water them? Will they die? Fear not, we’re here to help. 

There are only a few considerations you need to take into account when choosing plants for your home. The most important is light source, some plants need healthy doses of direct light while others prefer shaded corners. This is the biggest factor in choosing your plants, because cacti won’t feel at home hiding in the humid depths of a dark bathroom.

Other things to consider are the watering schedule and the space you have. Are you looking for a few windowsill buddies or do you want a plant that makes a statement in the room? Once you’ve determined your lighting and locations, you’re ready to begin choosing your newest family members.

Photo by Lisa Moyneur on Unsplash

Snake Plant

The snake plant, otherwise known as mother-in-law’s tongue, is one of the most fuss-free plants out there. While it enjoys bright indirect light it will tolerate shady corners of your house where most other plants will struggle. Part of the succulent family, it doesn’t require too much water and prefers to linger on the drier side. Even if you have a brown thumb, snake plants are hardy and don’t require a lot of maintenance. 

Parlour Palm

Popularised in the Victorian era, Parlour Palms have remained a firm favourite among plant enthusiasts. A moderate sized plant that tolerates some shade and doesn’t require too much watering, these plants are easy to care for. They appreciate a healthy misting to keep humidity levels higher and are air purifying to help clear your space of common household toxins.

Golden Pothos

These fast growing, leggy plants look great from hanging pots or draped down shelves to add greenery to higher elevations in your rooms. Fast growing and only requiring moderate light conditions, Golden Pothos are easy to care for and look great when creating a green space in your home. Yet another fairly fuss-free plant, these are great for new plant parents.

Monstera Deliciosa 

The Monstera Deliciosa, often known as the Swiss Cheese Plants, has become a symbol of the millennial home. The beautiful and iconic deep green glossy leaves are characterised by their splits and holes and can grow into monsters (hence the name) given the opportunity. As tropical plants, they prefer higher humidity levels and bright indirect light will yield more new foliage with splits and holes, although they will tolerate some shade. Considered a must-have for most plant lovers, their small climbing cousin, the Monstera Adansonii, also make for great additions to your plant collection.

Peace Lily

Delicate and adding a little femininity to your plant family, the peace lily is a wonderful plant that thrives in humid spaces like bathrooms and kitchens. All plants need light, so ensure your bathroom has a window, but these beauties will tolerate more shade than most. Their striking white flowers are a welcome contrast to all the green foliage and they even let you know when they need a drink as their leaves will droop. Top them up with some water and watch them perk up quickly!

Photo by Orlova Maria on Unsplash

Dressing your plants

The fun doesn’t end when you choose your favourite foliage, you get to dress those fronds too. Picking a pot or planter for your indoor house plants is serious business, with a variety of ceramic, stoneware and terracotta pots to choose from. You can even opt for baskets or rattan woven-style options depending on the aesthetic you’re going for. Just make sure your decorative pot is 1-3cm larger than your growing pot you purchase your plant in.

Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash

While it might seem that we’re missing out on some of the best parts of the year as the season of blooms begins, we can easily transform our homes into places of tranquility with plants. While we’re spending more time inside, they’ll improve our mental well being as well as help us to be more productive while we’re working from home.

If you’re looking for some inspiration to get you started, check out some of our favourite plant parents; House Plant Journal, Succulent City, Plant Kween, Hilton Carter and House Plant Club.

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Bronwyn Townsend

Bronwyn Townsend is an Australian travel photographer and writer usually found researching her next trip, ticking off bucket list moments and looking for a new challenging hike somewhere in the alps. Follow along with her travels on instagram: @bonnejournal

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